Online Recipe Book

Carrot Cake 6

American Classics, by America's Test Kitchen, p 357-358
One-half two-layer 9" round cake
Prep info
1 hr prep + 50 min bake + 10 min cool + 2 hr cool completely
Prep time
Not set
Cook time
4 hours
Time required
4 hours
Oven preheat
Desserts - Misc


  • Carrot Cake
  • 195 g Flour (Plain) (1 & 1/3 cups, unbleached)
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t Salt (Table)
  • 1 lb carrots (finely grated, about 3.5 cups)
  • 165 g Sugar (Granulated) (3/4 cup)
  • 113 g butter (unsalted) (1 stick)
  • 100 g Sugar (Light Brown) (1/2 cup packed)
  • 2.5 eggs
  • 3/4 t vanilla extract
  • Frosting
  • 227 g cream cheese (softened, 1/2 pound)
  • 71 g butter (unsalted) (softened, 5T)
  • 140 g Sugar (Icing) (1.25 cups)
  • 4 t sour cream


For the Cake:

1. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat the oven to 350F.  Generously grease and flour the bottom and sides of one 9" round cake pan.  Invert the pan and tap sharply to remove excess flour.

2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.  Toss the grated carrots with 1/2 cup granulated sugar (110g) in a colander set over a large bowl; drain until 1/2 cup of liquid (120mL) has collected, 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently; cook until golden brown, 8-10 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl; cool for 10 minutes, then whisk in the remaining granulated sugar and the brown sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time, whisking thoroughly before adding the next; add the vanilla.  Add the flour mixture, stirring until almost combined, then mix in the carrots.

4. Pour the batter into the pan; smooth the surface with a rubber spatula.  Bake until the cake feels firm in the center when pressed lightly, and a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out perfectly clean, 40 to 50 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack; cool for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around the perimeter of the pan, invert the cake onto a rack.  Reinvert onto another rack; cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

5. Beat the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a standing mixer on low speed until homogenous, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the icing/confectioners'/powdered sugar and sour cream; beat until well blended, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

6. Cut the cake in half, giving you two half-rounds.  Place a dab of frosting on the plate or cake board to hold the cake in place, then place one half-round on top.  Place a large blob of icing in the center of the cake and spread it to the edges with an icing spatula.  Imagine you are pushing the icing into place, rather than scraping it on.  Hold the spatula at a 45-degree angle to the cake and drag it across the surface to level the icing.  Place the second layer on top of the icing.  Place another large blob of icing in the center of this layer, spreading it to the edges again with the icing spatula.  Level the icing surface once more.  To ice the sides of the cake, scoop up a large dab of icing on the tip of the spatula and spread it on the sides with short side-to-side strokes.

7. Cut the cake into slices and serve.  (Cover leftover cake with plastic and refrigerate; bring to room temperature before serving).


Note from source: Serve the cake the same day you make it.

SJ Note: I've halved this recipe from its source, since there's only two of us.  It halved pretty easily, except for the eggs, so it'll be easy for you to multiply if you want to make the full cake.  I'll be using two whole eggs and one egg yolk for the "2.5 eggs".

SJ Note 13 Feb 2012: This was tasty!  The carrots only gave off 1/4 cup of juice after 30 minutes, so I left for another 30 minutes, but they didn't give off much more juice.  After that I just used a large spoon to press the carrot against the colander, which before too long yielded the rest of the 1/2 cup of juice.  I didn't have sour cream, so I used about a teaspoon of lemon juice to get the tang for the frosting; it came out tasty.  The end cake was much more carroty than most carrot cakes, and it was tasty.  A keeper.

SJ Note 22 Apr 2014: Tasty!  We used the ricer to squeeze the carrot shreds this time, but that squeezed them too dry.  Be careful with it in the future.